A dumb logo for a useless coin

Why are there still pennies?

The Federal government keeps making them, but clearly doesn't take the poor things at all seriously, because they've taken away the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse, and replaced it with....

something that looks a lot like the logo of a service station or maybe a brand of motor oil from the 1930s:  "Defending your engine from corrosion!" It looks best on a rusty sign swinging in the breeze in the background of a dramatic confrontation between the detective and the killer greasemonkey.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it.  But the Lincoln penny (originally with the wheat ear reverse) went into circulation in 1909.  A penny in 1909 was worth the equivalent of $0.24 today--in other words, it was a quarter (and, to bring the point home, my keyboard doesn't have a cent symbol on it, because who needs it?)  That actually seems a bit steep as your smallest coin.  But now it is a pathetic remnant.

The Lincoln Memorial one is the one I grew up with, which incidentally made the penny the only coin with a presidential portrait on both sides, since you can see a tiny Abe in the Memorial as well as on the obverse:

 Cab drivers in Boston used to point to this as the inspiration for our little-loved City Hall:


Just turn the coin upside down: